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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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While I admit to not being a fan of Spotify or any social streaming networking site, just putting something "up there" does not nessasarily mean that it is energzing sales. People listen to very little of most songs, usually a few seconds, then are on to something else. So unless he has someone specifically going to his site, PAYING money for specific songs, do not always mean that actual money is earned. Even if he got "some action" on radio, again might not equal to pay outs. Those radio stations have to have a certain listener ship and have to REPORT airplay. And in this day and age, it really has to be a LOT of airplay.
But this has always been so for songs, writers and artists. Most simply do not derive a lot of listens, therefore not a lot of income is there to be paid. And there have always been the people who keep writers from earning what they feel they should. 

It was once publishers, managers, record labels, programmers, etc. that are always involved and there are legitimate gripes about those. Now it is the social networking platforms. There are a lot of culprits but most often it is simply the LISTENERS themselves that either respond to the artists, songs or writers. Most simply don't pay anything for music and have endless product to choose from. Supply and demand. Most people deriving anything from Spotify will find that it propels their own web sites, their own profile on the Internet. But with a billion songs a month being uploaded, it is doubtful we can expect much in the way of payments in the present or the future. Unfortunately it's been that way a long time. I've known many people who had some pretty significant hits back during the "Good old days" of music, who didn't make the money people thought they did either. So it is something that has always been with us. 

 

Making money in regard to music is a pretty difficult thing. And should probably be looked at as a bonus from time to time instead of any tangible assets. Always why there has been the term "starving artist."

MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Bernd
(@bernd)
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Actually, Spotify pays rather well. On average it's 0.3 US cent per stream. That's more than German radio stations pay. Here it would be 25€ per play. BUT: for about 200.000 listeners! One stream means just ONE listener. A difference being that this one listener chose to listen to the song while on the radio the audience is exposed to what the editors choose. The authors (in Germany) get half of that amount. With regard to internet streams the authors get about 10%, which would be 0.03 cent per stream on Spotify. Could be more, I concede that much.

Youtube pays less: about 0.1 cent per stream (about 0.01  for the authors, which means both, composer and lyricist), and only if commercials are included (if the video is 'monetized'). Otherwise it's zero. Facebook pays even less.

We have to admit that we cannot expect much if hardly anybody is interested in listening to our songs.

On the other hand, there still IS money to be made - with live performances. In Germany a live performance of one single song yields 2€ of royalties for the authors (2/3 for the composer 1/3 for the lyricist). That's the minimum, i.e. for a concert with no entrance fee and with less than 150 people in the audience. As far as I know it is more in other countries. Anyway, that is why I prefer to write for musicians that actually perform live (unfortunately, at the moment there seems only Julie Carpino to be left, and I have written the lyrics to just three or four songs - but she performs often, so not all is lost...).

Whatever, if you like what you're doing (I do) money probably is not the most important objective. It could be exposure or immortality 😉 I am quite sure that some of my lyrics will be 'out there' when I'm long gone. Feels good 🙂

Cheers,
Bernd


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Gavin
(@gavin)
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Bernd is right that Spotify pays more than many, as explained in this post from our illustrious Admin. Well, in the video at the post.

Forum

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


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Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
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Posts: 539
 

Interesting topic guys. The thing about any platform, is it is rarely enough to just deliver the goods. Audiences don't magically materialize because we've produced a good tune. For streaming services, the work is getting on a playlist (a nut I haven't even attempted to crack yet). For getting radio play, it's writing endless emails to specifically target each station you approach because as an independent no one else is going to do that work for you. It's the old "you get out what you put in." That's not to say that everyone should put that kind of effort in, just that if you want your tunes heard you need to work your ass off to make that happen. MAB once told me that you have to spend 10% of your time writing and the rest promoting. I gotta say that he's not far off on that. It's a real shame too that the industry demands that of creative people because it's a waste of creative talent. But, it's the system we've got...

 

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


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Gavin
(@gavin)
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@jenny-stokes

Jenny, when you approach radio stations, do they pretty much always require an album, or are they open to people suggesting their singles? I mentioned on another thread that one reason still to produce an album is that I think radio stations still kind of expect them, and some still want you to send CDs, but I'm not sure of that.

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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Hey Jen,

Yes that is true. The majority of all our lives now that we are our own publicist, publisher, record label, manager, agent, etc. until we can get others to take up the job. 
What I see from most writers and artists, particularly those that focus so much on the financial side of the business, is that they have no real idea how MANY other writers, artists, singers, entertainers, there are doing this stuff. That is where the entire SPOTIFY/PANDORA/FACEBOOK/TWITTER/YOU TUBE, etc discussion is. There are quite literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of artists, songs, videos, AN HOUR going up. There are millions and millions of people doing this. Go to a talent show. There are hundreds of people trying to audition and play. See how many REALITY television shows, how many people show up for auditions. They stand in line for DAYS. Those old gigs that we used to have to keep our careers going are now given to DJ's and pre-programed or simply streaming services. Live music in a lot of ways are in death throes in some ways. Artificial Intelligence is actually taking over that. 

People listen to music in 8-15 second sound bites. It is WAY in the background and even when you find them listening mostly on their phones and mobile devices, and they are DOING SOMETHING ELSE at the same time. Playing games, posting on the Web, and simply being distracted. 

So when you get to something like a social networking platform like Spotify, what exactly are they collecting money FOR? Unless you have HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of streams, you are not likely to get anything. 

But again, none of this is NEW. I remember when I was starting out in music, before Nashville and even more AFTER I moved to Nashville, that there would be RADIO HITS, and ALBUM HITS. What that meant is that some songs had enormous radio airplay, but really didn't sell very many physical copies. And there were songs that sold a LOT of product, but barely registered on the charts. You had a lot of RETURNS, which were physical albums and then CD's that would be shipped by record companies to record stores, but were RETURNED a couple months later, having not sold very well. 
And there were many many writers and artists that you would feel "have it made" with some big "hit" That actually EARNED very little money. 

There were songwriters I knew (actually the rule, rather than the exception) that would have one, two, three songwriting deals (owing money in each of them) that suddenly had a HUGE hit (a 15 year overnight success) and made virtually NOTHING because they had to pay BACK all that money before they made a dime. And I have also known more than one celebrity, heading 0ut on the road with a huge number one hit, yet having to declare bankruptcy because of the expenses it took to get that hit up the charts. 

So the reality of making money,  has always been misunderstood. You don't make a ton of money from one radio airplay in the middle of nowhere with a station with ten listeners. And you are not going to make much streaming money when you only have 10 friends that stream your song. Most just don't EARN enough money to pay out any money. 

So why keep doing it? Have no idea. Never have quite understood much about why people actually try this. I guess a lot of the "ignorance is bliss" thing. The more you know about it, the less you WANT to know about it. All in all, do it for the love of it. That's the real reason to do any of this.

 

"You don't choose music, music chooses you. " Wow Wish I'd said that.
Oh yeah. I did.
MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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@gavin

As far as "sending CD's"to anything in this country and most other ones as I know about, the "sending" ended about 35 years ago.

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Gavin
(@gavin)
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Posted by: @mabbo

@gavin

As far as "sending CD's"to anything in this country and most other ones as I know about, the "sending" ended about 35 years ago.

https://www.wncw.org/submit-music

This is a public radio station. Maybe behind the times.

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


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Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
Right Honorable Member
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Posts: 539
 

All of the above, Gavin. Every radio station is different. Before you send anything you have to do your research. First of all, listen to the station and take a look at their show schedule and also their playlists if they're available. If the station is not a good fit or you can't find a specific show to pitch to, don't bother them. They get hundreds of submissions and they really don't like it when you waste their time. Also, if you waste their time pitching an inappropriate song, you've kind of burned the bridge for those times when you have the perfect song for them.

Once you've decided that the station is a good fit for your song, look at their submission guidelines. Some ask for a CD, others ask for a link to high bit-rate files, others ask for you to send a link to your ONE best song, the ONE song that is your best work and best fit for the station. If the station does not have any guidelines posted, you should use this last guideline (i.e., choose one song that best fits the stations programming and send a link to it). Never send unsolicited mp3s. Always make it a downloadable link. Dropbox is great because the station folks can listen without committing to a download. We've also used Google Drive, but it seems to be less reliable. If you have a video, also send a link to that because a person is more likely to watch a video all the way through than listen to a tune all the way through.

Start small. Go for internet radio to begin with. There are grades of internet radio. Some is just special interest radio (guy in a shed) while others are affiliated and pay for play (in the round-about ASCAP etc way -- as in give it a year). Start with the little guy and work your way up. You will get turned down more than you are accepted. Sometimes you will get no response. Just a vacuum. If you're lucky, they will tell you why you didn't succeed and you need to accept that criticism graciously  because they absolutely didn't need to take the time to give it. Then, go fix what they've pointed out to you. For us, it was our drums. Not good enough we were told. So, we changed how we do that and now we get a few more positive replies. The "no response" stations are really hard (for me anyway) because I don't know what I need to do differently.

 

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


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Gavin
(@gavin)
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Thanks for the good advice, Jen. The psychological side of things is reminiscent of when I was flogging my novel LOL. You have to know how not to take rejection personally.

I totally get the start small thing. Also, I think, start local. I could get the local AM radio here to play my stuff. I'd probably have to go on as a guest, because they are always looking to fill that kind of slot. I guess a couple of thousand people would be subjected to my songs, but, given the political views of most folks around here, I'd have to make sure they avoided the climate denier song LOL.

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


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Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
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Posts: 539
 

I have not had the chance to listen to that song yet, though I've read the email notification so I get your meaning. Yup, best to steer clear of Climate Denier and also the Liberal Elite song. If it's local...they'll know where you live!  

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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@gavin

There are still a few, very very few, local, public access, or college stations that will play some outside material, but they are like most everything else. I know a couple people who are DJ's on those, mostly students, and even they are besieged by submitted material. If you have a radio stations, you will get 50-200 CD's albums (yes there is still vinyl out there), links to files, emails, etc. a day. This has always been the problem. And the easier it has gotten to record and distribute their own product, means that more and more people are submitting. 

A lot of song and artist contests started this way. They got so many submissions they felt "why don't we just make money on this and get everyone to pay a fee to submit? Same has happened with publishers that became fee for service "SONG PLUGGERS." They got so many submissions (thousands upon thousands) that there was no physical ways to go through everything. And certainly most were not even of the quality to pitch to anyone. So they developed "film and television libraries" and other things that have great sounding titles, but don't really do much other than store things.

Internet podcasting is one of the best ways since there is limited commercials and more time for music. But the 'downside" of that is that if they don't have advertising, they are not making enough money to pay out any royalties. And that is a real rub that again, most writers and artists don't understand. Radio has always been a vehicle of ADVERTISMENT FOR ARTISTS. The reason for radio in the first place was to advertise for the artist so they could get people to come to their shows. That is really the historical reason for radio. To advertise for the dances, the concerts, the other avenues that artists would take. And to sell the albums or other merchandise, (song books used to be a huge deal) The money made from radio was always pennies for an artist compared to the money made off touring, merchandise, and personal appearances. 

So it's another misunderstood thing that people who are writers and not artists and even most artists now go through. "My song was played at midnight on a campus radio station at two AM. Where is my MONEY for that?" The fact is, no where. There is nothing COLLECTED and their airplay's don't represent enough activity to even log in. So  on things like Spotify, getting a few plays on random points and often not even complete songs, are simply not going to show up. 

So all in all, there are still ways to get airplays. But you have to understand what radio is. Radio is ADVERTISING FOR ARTISTS. If anyone is NOT an ARTIST, particularly if they are not performing in the region of the station there is doubtfully going to be any activity or money at all on songs. Those "outside songs" are going to go to artists who might be performing in that area. Sometimes the radio station sponsors the performances that those artists play on. So that is only normal.

Just not enough hours in the day.
MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Gavin
(@gavin)
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We are in complete agreement. Frankly, if I went on the radio it would just be for fun and the only reasons they might want me would be (1) the very local angle (2) they've had me on before about my books and (3) it saves them looking for someone else LOL.. Plus, some of my stuff is a bit different and kind of lends itself to amusing discussion, which is what the show is about. I wouldn't expect anything out of it. And yes, if I were performing locally, I would use it to promote the live performance, as you say.

I may or may not be an enigma
http://mysteriousbeings.com


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Mabbo
(@mabbo)
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Gavin, that is precisely correct. WE just had a GREAT DOCUMENTARY SERIES, "KEN BURNS COUNTRY MUSIC" which is an amazing 8 part series. Every one in this town who have been around, hit writers, artists, producers, label people, publishers, etc. all have their own takes on it, and all have the "My friend was skipped" and "There was too much this and that..." Nonsense. They did a great job and touched as much as they could and you can't cover EVERYBODY!

But a huge deal was about the early days of the Grand Old Opry, Louisiana Hayride and other live radio shows which really fueled the live scene and record sales. That was really why radio did music, to promote those live shows. And it's still that today. 

Visability is VIABILITY and if you have a song with an artist or are an artist, and you are played multiple times on multiple stations every day, pop up on the huge live shows (Tonight show, Late Night, Kimmel, etc.) are on commercials, being featured in HUGE production television or motion pictures, are doing huge touring and merchandise business, have tons of things on YOU TUBE and all the Twitter Universe, are streamed on all the services, and a huge fan base who loyally purchase all your stuff, YOU DO GREAT!!!

But there is this HUGE HUGE HUGE drop off between those people, the icons, and the average rank and file. That's most of us. So we have to concern ourselves in building and maintaining our little niches. I would always look at music sort of like any hobby that pays off once in a while. If you do it fairly regularly, you find your elements. People come to your shows. People tune into your YOU TUBE and FACEBOOK channels. People seek you out. That;s when you make money, but it's mostly RESIDUAL instead of any direct payments from ASCAP, SESAC, BMI, SOCAN, etc.
I always say "When people pay YOU for being YOU, that is when you make money. Till then, we are all in that little "look at me" boat. Trying to get and keep attention.

MAB

Marc-Alan Barnette


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Jenny Stokes
(@jenny-stokes)
Right Honorable Member
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Posts: 539
 
Posted by: @mabbo

..."When people pay YOU for being YOU, that is when you make money. Till then, we are all in that little "look at me" boat. Trying to get and keep attention.

MAB

...and then there are the torrent sites where people seek you out but aren't willing to pay for the pleasure.  {sigh}

When I look at our sales versus how many downloads we've had this week on torrent sites, it's depressing. So much for nurturing a niche.  {sigh}

The million dollar question is how do you get people to move from wanting to hear your music to wanting to buy your music? I think the answer is probably "you don't."  {sigh}

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://evansandstokes.com
https://www.facebook.com/evansandstokes/


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